dis·​in·​gen·​u·​ous | \ ˌdis-in-ˈjen-yə-wəs How to pronounce disingenuous (audio) , -yü-əs \

Definition of disingenuous

: lacking in candor also : giving a false appearance of simple frankness : calculating

Other Words from disingenuous

disingenuously adverb
disingenuousness noun

Did you know?

A disingenuous remark might contain some superficial truth, but it is delivered with the intent to deceive or to serve some hidden purpose. Its base word ingenuous (derived from a Latin adjective meaning "native" or "freeborn") can describe someone who, like a child, is innocent or lacking guile or craftiness. English speakers began frequently joining the negative prefix dis- with ingenuous to create disingenuous during the 17th century.

Examples of disingenuous in a Sentence

"It's had nine murders since 1937—about the same as you would get in many small towns." This was correct, but a wee disingenuous. The AT [Appalachian Trail] had no murders in its first thirty-six years and nine in the past twenty-two. — Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods, 1999 … and he egged Badger on, asking a disingenuous question about the antivivisection rally in Cleveland, and as Badger took the thought up and chewed it over, the Doctor made as if to excuse himself. — T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Road to Wellville, 1993 … he has a disingenuous way of resorting to slang when he wants to make a big point but is afraid of sounding pretentious. — Karen Schoemer, New York Times Book Review, 31 Oct. 1993 Unity is at best an ideal, at worst a disingenuous political slogan. — Salman Rushdie, The Independent on Sunday, 25 Nov. 1990 Her recent expressions of concern are self-serving and disingenuous.
Recent Examples on the Web Both the question, and the analysis, are disingenuous. Fabio Bertoni, The New Yorker, 13 May 2022 Third, Ramaswamy’s underlying claim about the role of politics in business is disingenuous. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, 11 May 2022 The politicians screaming the loudest are being disingenuous. WSJ, 10 May 2022 And Republican worries about voter fraud have for years been disproportionate, if not disingenuous. D.j. Tice, Star Tribune, 24 July 2021 In an age obsessed with the elusive notion of authenticity, restaurants love to say that their menus reflect the spirit of their owners’ own kitchens, a comforting, if often disingenuous, claim. New York Times, 10 May 2022 The Last Jedi, which caused an online firestorm (some, but not all, fueled by racist/sexist whining and disingenuous complainers) yet still earned rave reviews, an A from CinemaScore and grossed $620 million worldwide and $1.333 billion global. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 6 May 2022 The laptop was a gift to the paranoid and the disingenuous. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 28 Apr. 2022 Some sober nonbelievers find the chapter disingenuous. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disingenuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of disingenuous

1655, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of disingenuous was in 1655

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Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disingenuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disingenuous. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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